Condemning the brutal attack on journalist Vishwalingam Vishwachandran!

On the morning of November 28, 2021, journalist Vishwalingam Vishwachandran was subject to a brutal attack in Mullaitivu while engaging in media reporting. The barbaric attack was carried out with a palm stick wrapped in barbed wire while the victim was taking photographs of the Mullivaikkala name board. Eyewitnesses said that the attack was carried out by a group of army soldiers who were stationed at the scene. It is reported that journalist Vishwalingam Vishwachandran, who is also the treasurer of the Mullaitivu Media Club, has been admitted to the Mullaitivu District Hospital with serious injuries and is receiving treatment.

Mullaitivu journalists have lodged a complaint with the Mullaitivu Police with photographic evidence of the attackers. When inquired about this, the Mullaitivu Police Headquarters Inspector said that investigations have been initiated into the incident. He further said that steps will be taken to send the relevant details of the attack to the Police Media Spokesman and further details should be sought from the Police Media Spokesman. Journalists in the North and East, in particular, have been subjected to constant harassment and it is unfortunate that they have not been brought to the attention of government officials, including the IGP, from time to time.

The Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions (FMETU), a member organization of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), strongly condemns the brutal attack on journalist Vishwalingam Vishwachandran. We consider this attack as an attack on the right of all journalists to report freely. We urge all government officials, including the IGP, to bring those responsible for the attack under the law immediately and to take all possible measures to prevent such incidents in the future.

How can ILO C190 impact the life of a woman journalist?

Violence and harassment against women journalists can occur everywhere: in newsrooms, in relation to their sources, at home, on the way home, online. Violence and harassment have devastating implications for the targeted journalist as her well-being, her work, her private life and eventually press freedom are affected.

 

To mark 25 NovemberThe International day for the elimination of violence against women and girls, the IFJ is calling on all its unions to campaign for the full ratification by their government of ILO Convention 190. Read the testimonies of IFJ Gender Council members in CanadaCyprusPeru and Portugal on why ratification of the Convention is key for women journalists.

 

The International Labour Organization (ILO) passed on 10 June 2019 a new Convention – ILO C190 to end violence and harassment in the world of work, as well as a recommendation, 206.

 

We need this convention and its recommendation to be ratified by governments across the world. 

 

Why? Because it can change journalists’ and citizens’ lives by outlawing harassment and violence in the world of work and turn workplaces into violence-free zones.

 

Journalism can be a dangerous profession. In order to cover breaking stories, journalists put themselves in contexts of war, conflict and natural disasters. In order to report on corruption, human rights abuses and political chicanery, journalists often incur the wrath of the most powerful in society.

 

Women journalists who find themselves in such situations are often the specific focus of violenceAccording to IFJ statistics, almost 65% of women media workers have experienced intimidation, threats or abuse in relation to their work. This is a threat to freedom of expression and media freedom.

 

Abuse can come from all directions: a senior-editor who uses his position to intimidate a young female journalist; a female reporter reporting outside being groped or receiving sexist comments or being physically assaulted by her interviewee or bystanders.

 

ILO C190 can bring about change. It changes female journalists’ lives by outlawing violence in the world of work and making it a health and safety issue media employers have to respond to.

 

Today, ask your government to ratify the convention and make a change in your newsroom.

 

Click here to learn 5 things you need to know about C190 & what you can do already to start changing lives!

 

Download the Global unions toolkit on C190: the Activity Workbook and the Facilitator guide (2021)

 

How can ILO C190 impact the life of a woman journalist?

” Journalism is public service! wake up! stand up! protect the media industry!” – FMETU 8th Delegates Conference:

” Journalism is a Public Service!  Wake up!  stand up!  Protect the media Industry!” – FMETU 8th Delegates Conference:

The Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions, FMETU held its 8th delegates’ convention online on October 30. The programme was supported by the International Federation of Journalists, IFJ, through the “IFJ-Union to Union, 2021 programme”.

The FMETU convention theme this year was, “Journalism is a Public Service!  Wake up!  Stand up!  protect the Media Industry!”.

Indira’s Speech

I am delighted to participate in IFJ’s regional online organising conference – FUTURE POWER: Organising media in challenging times. I am representing the Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions –FMETU Sri Lanka.

It is also very important that this event is focusing on impunity to mark the International Day to End Impunity.

IFJ congratulates Ressa and Muratov journalists for receiving Nobel Peace Prize

Filipino and Russian journalists, Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov, were today announced as the winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for “their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace”. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes the news and warmly congratulates the winners, saying that this award is a recognition of the crucial role of journalists around the globe, many of whom are faced with tremendous challenges to serve the public in their countries and the world.

The drum-makers of Kooragala

n a far-flung village in the District of Kandy, a village of drum-makers holds fast to old traditions and an ancient craft

Through a tree-lined road one cool misty morning, we made our way to a tiny village that is still the heart and soul of one of Sri Lanka’s most unique cultural traditions. The village of Kooragala, in the Udunuwara Divisional Secretariat of the Kandy District, is nestled upon a small mountain range.

Salary dispute of estate workers

By Indunil Usgoda Arachchi

After nearly 200 years after the arrival in Sri Lanka, estate workers can still be considered as a community which does not possess the rights and privileges of other ordinary citizens of the country, forcing them to live a miserable life which can only be compared to the conditions of the pre-Independence era. In fact, their grievances are heard only upon signing collective agreements once in two years while their struggle for life is not something which arises only once in two years. The system of delaying collective agreements by years and offering paltry salary increments has to be changed and a proper program should be carried out by the authorities to uplift these people but in which the country has continuously failed.

Mannar’s Women of the Sea

Text and Pix: Indunil Usgoda Arachchi

Widowed or badly affected during the decades of conflict, the fisher community in Anthoniyarpuram, Mannar has new heroes. Groups of women have formed fisheries cooperative societies, and often spend the night at sea, diving for sea cucumbers and crustaceans in the waters of the Lagoon to keep their families alive and reconstruct lives torn apart by war

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